The BAYEUX TAPESTRY
The Bayeaux Tapestry is really an embroidery but the word tapestry has stuck. The Bayeaux Tapestry is now on permanent public display in the city of Bayeaux in Normandy, France. It tells the story of the Battle of Hastings; why William felt he had to invade, the preparations made for the crossing and the battle itself. Tapestries were not rare in the time of William but the size of this particular tapestry is an indication that it was important. The story it tells was to have a huge impact on Medieval England.
It is made out of linen (eight bands sewn together) and is 270 feet long and about 20 inches wide. It was once even longer but part of the tapestry at the end - after the Battle of Hastings - has been cut off. The writing on the tapestry is in Latin. The main stitches used are stem stitching and laid-and-couched stitching.
Here you can read the tale told by the Bayeux Tapestry -The story of William the Conqueror and Harold, Earl of Wessex, the men who led the Norman and Saxon armies in 1066. William's defeat of Harold at the Battle of Hastings ensured the success of the Norman invasion of England.
The Bayeux Tapestry is preserved and displayed in Bayeux, in Normandy, France. Nothing is known for certain about the tapestry’s origins. The first written record of the Bayeux Tapestry is in 1476 when it was recorded in the cathedral treasury at Bayeux as "a very long and narrow hanging on which are embroidered figures and inscriptions comprising a representation of the conquest of England".
The Bayeux Tapestry was probably commissioned in the 1070s by Bishop Odo of Bayeux, half-brother of William the Conqueror. It is over 70 metres long and although it is called a tapestry it is in fact an embroidery, stitched not woven in woollen yarns on linen. Some historians argue that it was embroidered in Kent, England. The original tapestry is on display at Bayeux in Normandy, France.